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West Virginia to continue using Everbridge for vaccine registration

CHARLESTON — The system handling registrations for COVID-19 vaccines in West Virginia will remain in place as long as people are using it to register and schedule vaccinations.

State officials said Wednesday during Gov. Jim Justice’s regular COVID-19 briefing that the Everbridge system will remain in place, but more needs to be done to get people registered.

“We have no plans to replace Everbridge with something else,” said West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch. “The issue right now is not enough people in the state are registering for vaccinations.

“Right now we have 13 counties with less than 100 individuals, age 65 and over (registered) to vaccinate,” Crouch said.

Some counties have stepped up efforts in place to push registration on the system.

“As we vaccinate more people in more age groups we are pushing to get that 80 and over, 70 and over and 65 and over,” Crouch said. “We are expanding who is eligible for the vaccine.

“If we don’t have enough people registering on the system there will be a transition to a more routine immunization program that the CDC uses in vaccination efforts.”

Currently, there are no plans to change what the state is doing.

“We need people to register in the system,” Crouch said. “We need to focus on getting everyone we can to get vaccinated.”

Justice also stressed the importance of getting people signed up. He said some counties were lagging in their registrations including Gilmer, Calhoun, Clay, Wirt, Doddridge, Webster, Pocahontas, Grant, Pendleton, Braxton, Pleasants, Tyler, Tucker and McDowell counties.

He urged people in those counties to step up their efforts.

“We can’t get them in arms if we don’t have arms to get them in,” he said.

For a while, the issue was one of the demand then it became about the supply and now it is back to an issue of demand. West Virginia has been leading in how to get vaccines distributed so that other states and the federal government have been adopting West Virginia’s model.

“We have got to figure out a way to get them in arms faster,” Justice said.

Overall, 565,669 doses of vaccine have been administered statewide and the state is at 12.2 percent of its total population being completely vaccinated.

The state has had 362,000 West Virginians sign up for vaccinations.

“That is good, but we can do so much better,” he said.

The governor reported 198,835 seniors, 65-years-old and older have had one shot with 116,339 having received their second shot.

“We saved a lot of lives there,” the governor said.

To date, there have been 2,330 confirmed deaths statewide. That number does not yet reflect 168 previously unreported deaths the governor mentioned as he received that report shortly before the briefing began.

“We have lost an unbelievable amount of wisdom,” Justice said.

The daily positivity rates have being going down. There are currently 5,360 active cases in West Virginia.

“It has been 53 straight days that we have seen less numbers,” Justice said.

The state has 126,468 cases of people recovering. The state has 178 hospitalizations and 54 ICU cases.

The state is lifting some of the restrictions on gatherings and businesses as long as people keep maintaining social distancing and other precautions such as wearing masks. Social gatherings have been raised to 100 people, allowing for traveling for sporting events and so on.

“One thing we are going to have to keep doing is wearing these masks,” Justice said.

(Dunlap can be contacted at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com)

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